Buffalo District Leadership Development Program Producing Future Leaders

Published March 24, 2016
Project Manager George Sunny presents at the LDP book report meeting

Project Manager George Sunny presents at the LDP book report meeting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District recognizes that employees are the District’s most valuable asset, and is driven to invest in developing this important resource. 

Some ways the District develops future leaders is through training, mentoring, and development activities as part of Buffalo District’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). The LDP program provides employees with the opportunity to refine their leadership skills by applying them through direct interaction with the District’s senior leadership.

Most recently the LDP students had a chance to present book reports to Buffalo District peers and senior staff, March 22, outlining a wide variety of different leadership principals and philosophies.

USACE Buffalo District Commander LTC Karl Jansen opened the book presentations with a discussion on the importance of developing individual leadership skills and style, and revealed the distinct overlap between leadership and managers.

“Today’s presentations will help spark self-development journeys for each LDP participant,” said LTC Jansen. “The way we deliver our public service is what makes Buffalo District stand out among USACE Districts.”

Each of the LDP leadership development-themed books and reports were a direct reflection of the individual’s particular leadership styles.

Biologist Heather Adams, who used to own a flock of sheep in Alaska, chose “The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People.” Adams’ choice of book allowed her to glean insights and messages that appealed directly to her own perspective on life.

“No matter what position you are in there will be opportunities to use leadership skills, whether it's to mentor coworkers, support management, lead working groups, or to interface with the public,” said Adams. 


Adams recognized the value offered by leadership development training.


“Always take advantage of leadership training when you can.  The skills you learn will be valuable throughout your career,” she said.


Following each presentation, the floor was open to comments and questions from the fellow LDP participants. This created an open forum on which ideas, philosophies, and leadership theories could be mulled over by the group.

“The most rewarding part of the experience was listening to the feedback from individuals in official leadership capacities versus those who are aspiring leaders,” said Dr. Michael D. Izard-Carroll, program analyst. “What better way is there to learn leadership skills than to engage with leaders about their best practices?”


The LDP participants hail from a variety of backgrounds. From biologists, to engineers, to planners, to program analysts, it is through this diversity, a multitude of mission focus areas are spotlighted during the program. This provides the LDP students and senior staff a unique opportunity to engage and network with one another, reinforcing and building the Corps of Engineers most valuable asset, its people.